Confessions Of A Model Booker: Lydia Bratschke Gives An Inside Look At The Industry
Even if you’ve watched every single episode of Next Top Model, you are still bound to have quite a few questions about the modeling industry. So, to satisfy your curiosity, we chatted with Lydia Bratschke, a model booker at MODELWERK in Hamburg, Germany. Listen in as Lydia dishes about everything from dealing with models’ diva demands to what it takes to make it in this competitive industry.
Tell us about your work as a model booker. How did you get started?
Since I was a small girl, I was interested in all things fashion and bought as many magazines as possible!
My sister and I actually joined a kid's agency! Then, a short while later, an adult agency asked me to join in the hope I’d grow slightly taller, but I never did! That's when I first noticed how an agency actually works. A few weeks later, I applied for an internship at Modelwerk and got the job!! I am so happy it worked out because I love working with the models, the team and all the different clients!
MODELWERK is one of the most successful modeling agencies in Germany. What’s unique about working for them?
Modelwerk has the reputation as the best modeling agency in Germany! All the best bookers are here, and we have the top models in the world on our books! I only want to work for the best!
Describe the model booking process. What do you look for when you’re casting new models?
We look for all kind of models—from 14 onwards. If you look at our website, you can see we represent models from all walks of life and from every background! We aren’t only looking for the typical commercial model but also for talents with their own unique style that they can show the world. But there always must be something that jumps out at you when you first meet a potential talent.
You hear always hear stories about models being discovered while they’re walking down the street or working at McDonalds. Does this actually happen?
Oh yes, that happens… girls and boys, young or old, get discovered while shopping, out at dinner with the family, on holiday or on the beach! I guess that's one of these once in a lifetime moments for a model—a moment they won't forget!
Do you have any insider advice for someone who is interested in pursuing a modeling career?
JUST BE YOURSELF, and believe in yourself! Whatever your dreams are, believe they are possible!
Beauty is unique and the old saying, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder" is totally true!
What’s the biggest misconception about what you do?
People sometimes have a bad opinion of modeling agencies and believe all we care about is making money. But if you asked the majority of models who have had careers, long or short, they will tell you the booker has been there from the start, encouraging, giving advice, being a shoulder to cry on and becoming a very close friend.
Do you ever have to deal with models’ “diva demands”?
Yes, but it's vary rare! The models do sometimes get rather tired after a long journey or a long shoot, but 99% of the time it's all sorted with a good night’s sleep or a large cup of coffee!
You’re working in an industry that is pretty heavily scrutinized by the public eye. How do you respond to claims that modeling agencies promote eating disorders/impossible standards of beauty/etc.?
The model's welfare is the upmost of importance to us. If we feel the model is showing any signs of ill health, we make sure they receive the appropriate help and advice immediately.
We’re all dying to know—Who is the most popular model you work with?
We have so many popular models here! The more established models, like Esther Heesch and Sophie-Anne Monrad, are doing really well. Also, keep an eye out for Paula Schinschel over the coming year.
And do you have a personal favorite model?
We all have our favorites! Personally, I enjoy seeing a girl walk off the streets with no experience, blossom into a full-time model and then, see them in a big campaign! Very satisfying.
Double fire: What’s the best/worst aspect of your job?
I love it when I get to travel because it means I can combine my job with my favorite hobby! My least favorite part is when you’re so busy that you can’t leave your desk for hours on end! But the team, the clients and the models who come around make every single day very entertaining!
As someone working in the modeling industry, how would you define beauty?
As I already said, beauty comes in all shapes, sizes and colors — it’s so unique!
Do you think the models and labels you work with have had an impact on your own style?
Not really, I like it simple and classic. I mostly wear black with a colorful detail or so. But of course, I check out our model's style on Instagram, style tips in magazines, fashion shows and new collections.
Does MODELWERK have any exciting upcoming contracts?
Ohh yes, we do… BUT psssst, I can’t tell you. You will see soon enough….